The UK is currently experimenting with a new type of asphalt which can be used to construct roads. This asphalt is partly made from tyres that have been taken off vehicles once they’ve become unsafe. The test has been conducted by Breedon Aggregates on behalf of Transport Scotland.
The stretch of road that has been constructed with the new asphalt carries over 30,000 vehicles per year which makes it one of the busiest roads in the country. The road is going to be carefully monitored to make sure that it meets certain performance criteria which are essential in road construction.
These include such important thing such as the ability to resist cars skidding, which is an important safety factor. The results that have come in from the road tests so far have been very positive. Rubber is not something that is a particularly new idea for use in asphalt. Normally the rubber would be melted and mixed with bitumen and stone in order to create the substance.
However, to construct this new type of road, Breedon have been given technology from a company based in Denmark which means that tyres do not need to be fully melted before they are used. Melting rubber is an expensive and environmentally costly process, so not having to melt the tyres at such a high temperature carries many benefits.
The Chief Executive of Breedon, is Alex McKenzie and he has commented, “We think that this new technology has the potential to transform how we surface roads in the country. We have been working on technologies to incorporate rubber into roads for years and until now there has not been a great deal of success. We are very pleased to be able to utilise this new technology through a partnership with the Danish company Genan.”